Why Are Students Still Paying So Much For Textbooks?

After settling into his dorm this past fall, John McGrath, a freshman at Rutgers University, took the campus shuttle to the school bookstore. He waited in line for 40 minutes clutching a list of four classes—including Microeconomics, Introduction to Calculus, and Expository Writing—and walked out later with an armful of books, some bundled with digital codes that he would use to access assignments on the publishers’ websites. He also exited the store with a bill for about $450.

McGrath, an accounting major, pays close attention to his expenditures. He had researched all the textbooks options—new, used, digital, loose-leaf, rental—and knew about the various online venues that compete with the campus bookstore for sales. His plan was to buy materials that he could later resell. But he was surprised to learn not only that he had to purchase digital codes for half of his classes, but also that those codes were often sold exclusively at the campus bookstore—and for a steep price.

More here.


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editing, writing, and interviewing. Lots of it. Some good things in the hopper.

Right now, I’m reading all the links on this Lawyers, Guns, and Money post on Glenn Greenwald. I kinda want to hear how he lives in Rio. I think he’s an asshole.

Freelancers are especially susceptible to sexual harassment. “As I followed my interview schedule around New York, from coffee shop to hipper coffee shop and then to various lovely Airbnb-bookable lofts, the workers I met from the 1099 economy (1099, because the money arrives piecemeal, rather than through W-2 employment) spoke often about making do with limited recourse.”

Are additives in our food making us fat and throwing off my calorie counter on my Fitbit. Which, incidentally, thought that I was sleeping today, because I didn’t get up from the computer for four hours straight.

The “Before” Pictures

We moved into this suburban split level just over six years ago. In that time, we pulled down the wallpaper in most, but not all, of the rooms. We did some “unfun” renovations — a new roof, a retaining wall, a boiler. But we haven’t had the time or the money to do much beyond those “unfun” but necessary renovations. We are still using furniture that was hauled off the street when we were grad students. Other pieces are hand-me downs. The kitchen table was once in my grandparents’ Bronx apartment.

Next month, we’re doing fun renovations – an entirely new kitchen and a revamped family room. Here are the “before” pictures. I have a video that I’m posting on Instagram. Click on the image in the sidebar.

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Yes, yes, I know you are are due for a proper blog post, but you’ll get a link-fest blog post and you’ll like it. Because I have edits to get to this morning.

Millennials aren’t shopping in supermarkets anymore. They are getting their avocado toast in restaurants, thank you very much.

Stop and stare at the crazy people who voted for Trump and are still happy about it. Lots of snark on twitter today about the Times’s decisions to feature these halfwits on its op-ed page.

Developers have hearts of dog poop. Evidence.

Megan McArdle, friend of Apt. 11D, weighs in on the #MeToo movement.

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Only 44% of currently enrolled students would attend their same college again if they had to do it all over again.

Another story about stress on teenagers. Another pathetic adjunct story.

I’m on the fence about attending the Women’s March in NYC on Saturday. The march doesn’t have any clear policy agenda, and everyone is coming armed with signs advertising their own pet issues. I haven’t decided, if I like that feature of the march or hate it.

“Many gifted kids have A.D.D. or O.C.D. or Asperger’s. When the parents are confronted with two sides of a kid, they’re so quick to acknowledge the positive, the talented, the exceptional; they are often in denial over everything else.” Or sometimes the schools only see the disability and put really smart kids in disabled classrooms meant for kids with intellectual disabilities.

Property Tax in New Jersey

Taxes in Jersey suck. They just do.

Walk into any diner on Route 17 and ask the guy at the counter. He’ll tell you, “our houses cost a lot, and we pay a shit load of taxes. Now get me a egg, cheese and Taylor ham sandwich, dammit.”

Here in Jersey, we are going to get royally screwed with Trump’s new tax plan. We used to be able to deduct part of the giant-assed local taxes from our federal taxes. Can’t do that anymore. Am I slightly laughing at the Trump voters in New Jersey right now? No. Because I’m too pissed off at them.

The towns directly around us are considering a plan to convert taxes into charitable donations, which still can be deducted from federal taxes. Our town must be considering the same plan.